Former Hong Kong actress Yammie Lam was found dead in her Hong Kong home on Saturday morning (Nov 3), capping a life marked by dramatic ups and downs.
Apple Daily News reported that the police found no evidence of foul play in their initial investigation.
Lam, 55, was discovered after a friend of hers called the police as the actress was not answering her door.
Lam was best known for her role as the Spider Woman in the 1995 two-part fantasy movie A Chinese Odyssey, which starred Stephen Chow as its lead character.
The actress, known as a great beauty in her heyday, began her career in Hong Kong television as a TVB talent.
According to Apple Daily News, Lam joined the TVB actor training programme in 1983. In the same batch were actresses Carina Lau and Sandra Ng.
With her performances in television serials like Looking Back In Anger (1989), which chalked up some of the highest views of any TVB series then, she rose to fame.
But after A Chinese Odyssey, she began retreating from showbiz.
Her parents reportedly died in quick succession in 1995 and 1996, around the time the films were released.
In 1998, Lam was involved in a car accident while driving in Hong Kong and hurt her hands and neck. Her health began to falter and she was reportedly also suffering from mental health issues and was seeking treatment.
She was declared bankrupt in 2006 and began living on financial aid.
Lam came back into the spotlight in 2013, when she revealed in an interview that she was raped by two top players of the entertainment industry decades ago.
She said one of the men raped her in Singapore, after he invited her to visit him and other friends. She said the man had a key to a rented house she was staying in and broke in.
She said she never went to the police as she wanted to "avoid trouble".
Although the names were censored out of the interview, the story resurfaced in China earlier this year, with a video that purported to show Lam naming the late actor-director Alan Tang and veteran funnyman Eric Tsang as her attackers.
Following that, former Asia-Pacific president of Ford Models Grace Han, also known as the Chinese godmother of modelling, accused Tsang of being a known sexual predator in the industry.
Tsang vigorously denied the claims, saying that the video of Lam naming him was falsely edited. Tang died in 2011.
In the same interview Lam admitted that once, due to trouble in her romantic relationship, she had slashed her wrists in an attempt to kill herself.
But Lam was also known for her erratic behaviour, which some speculate was due to her mental health issues.
She was once assaulted by Taiwanese actress Di Ying. Lam was reportedly often late for shoots and schedules, causing much frustration to the cast and crew of a 1992 Taiwanese drama the two had starred in together.
Di, who is even today known for her fiery temper, was upset with Lam after she was late for a schedule again. She waited for Lam in a hotel lobby. When Lam appeared, Di went up to her and kicked her hard in the stomach, causing her to stumble backwards across the lobby floor. Di recounted this story and named Lam as her victim in a Taiwanese variety show.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.